I get a lot of mail from people asking me how they can homeschool if they work full-time. Or if they have a new baby. Or if they hate being a teacher. All of these questions really boil down to the same question: how can we know if our kids are learning enough?
The answer is that homeschooling takes a lot less time than you realize. Kids who have choices will never choose to not learn. So your kids will learn enough, even if you’re not teaching them, per se.
Most of this blog is about working full time and homeschooling my kids. So it’s no coincidence that most of my blog is about how kids don’t need a curriculum. It was a miraculous reality I stumbled on when I was trying to figure out if I should take my special-needs son out of third grade.
There is very very clear research that says kids don’t need to be taught how to read and kids don’t need to be taught how to do math (I’m pretty sure my younger son learned both from video games). And that there is no benefit to teaching any advanced math before sixth grade.
Both my boys have been way below grade level before. But now they’re at or above grade level — mostly because kids waste so much time in school.
And in terms of technology my kids are way ahead, because they have had unlimited screen time since they were six and eight. They are actually horrified by how incompetent other kids are at navigating the internet – presumably because the kids don’t get screen time.
I am not saying my kids are geniuses. I am saying they are totally fine after not having curriculum. Kids see parents worried that the kids “aren’t learning enough” and then the kids worry they aren’t learning enough – whatever that means. And I wish I could go back to the beginning of homeschooling and just let them be.
The best thing you can do as a homeschooler is tell everyone that your family doesn’t need curricula because your kids are curious and engaged, and that’s the best way to learn. Your kids will hear you say that over and over again – because people ask all the time — and your kids will internalize it as true when they see that’s what you believe about them.